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Who Can File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Tennessee?

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In the state of Tennessee, a wrongful death is defined as the wrongful act or killing of another. These claims are considered a special type of personal injury claim since the deceased is not available to submit nor defend their claim in court. Wrongful death claims are not criminal charges but civil claims. Liability is expressed as money damages in a wrongful death claim. This is unlike criminal charges where penalties can vary from heavy fines to prison time.

A wrongful death claim must be filed by someone other than the deceased. Further, it must be filed within the state of Tennessee’s Statute of Limitations. This means that a wrongful death lawsuit must be brought to the court within one year of the date of the deceased’s death. The court will not listen to wrongful death claims outside of the one-year limit. In the state of Tennessee, only certain family members or representatives can file a wrongful death lawsuit:

  • the surviving children or next of kin
  • the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate
  • the surviving parent or parents, if the deceased person was dependent on their parent at the time of death

The law in Tennessee has also changed regarding the types of damages that can be covered by a wrongful death claim. In the past, damages were limited to the damages the deceased person could have recovered had they not lost their life. The law further did not include the losses of the surviving family members due to the fatal event. Currently, the law has changed to include:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Lost wages, including the wages and benefits the deceased would have earned if he or she had lived
  • Physical and mental suffering, loss of time, and necessary expenses incurred by family members because of the death

Are you running out of time to file your wrongful death lawsuit? Contact Nashville accident lawyer Stanley A. Davis today. We look forward to answering your questions and helping you move forward with your life.

Psalm 34:8, Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

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